Special K - Clarinets
Kinneret Sagee: Toronto, Ontario
A recent newcomer to Toronto, Kinneret is already an active contributor to the music scene in the GTA, and can regularly be seen with her Sisters of Sheynville and a number of orchestras around town. Kinneret has performed internationally at Carnegie Hall in New York City, in Southern France and the Netherlands. Her musical styles include Classical and Klezmer, in which she has had extensive study.
Becky - Clarinet
Becky Wexler: New Haven, Conneticut
In addition to studies in liturgical musicology at the Yale Institute for Sacred Music, Becky has professional experience in music management, performance, radio production, and elementary pedagogy. Her love of orchestral, operatic, and chamber music is trumped only by her passion for klezmer. For her, The Lithuanian Empire represents fusions of many important traditions: pickled herring, bagels & lox, and kugel meet Led Zeppelin, margaritas, and Nils Landgren to make beautiful harmonies on the streets of Harlem...make that Vilnius.
Cymbalism - Drums and Percussion
Lorie Wolf: Toronto, Ontario
Award-winning Toronto drummer Lorie Wolf has performed in clubs and festivals all over Toronto and the States, playing klezmer, Latin, jazz and world music. Lorie is a certified teacher in Ontario and works with Learning Through the Arts, an organization that promotes arts-based education in the classroom.
In her native Toronto, Lorie performs in many popular venues on the scene, including favorites such as the Rex Hotel, the Gladstone Hotel, the Toronto Center for the Performing Arts, and festivals, both local and international, such as the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Distillery Jazz Festival, Washington's Women in Jazz Festival and the Toronto Roots Festival.
Ol' Daddy Sizzlegut - Trombone
Ryan Purchase: Edmonton, Alberta
Trombonist Ryan Purchase was born in Nova Scotia and raised mostly in Regina, Saskatchewan. As a youth, he was a key member of many well-respected ensembles such as the Regina Lions Band and several Campbell Collegiate music ensembles. He earned a bachelor's degree in music performance from the University of Regina while studying with Dick Raum and playing assistant principal trombone in the Regina Symphony Orchestra. He went on to win many awards and scholarships, and toured Canada, Japan, and China with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Soon before he obtained his master's in performance from the University of Toronto, Ryan became interested in klezmer music. From his new home in Edmonton, Alberta, he began making annual visits to KlezKanada, and briefly led an edgy little klezmer group, Tennessee Steinmetz, from which several charts have become Lithuanian Empire standards.
Ryan is a composer, performer, educator, and a very proud stay-at-home new dad.
Fernie - Keys
Fern Lindzon: Toronto, Ontario
Fern is a much sought-after pianist and singer. She performs reglarly at The Montreal Bistro, The Rex, The Trane Studio Jazz Lounge, and Ben Wicks/The Left Door. She has performed at the Beaches Parti Gras Festival, Distillery Jazz Festival, Roots Festival, and the Winterfolk, Downsview Park, and Spring Festivals. Fern is a passionate and playful vocalist, a skilled and articulate pianist, as well as a gifted arranger and eclectic composer. She arranges for and performs with the Yiddish swing band "The Sisters of Sheynville".
Fern has opened for Natalie Cole, played for Nancy Sinatra, and has performed with many of Toronto's finest musicians including Lennie Solomon, Neil Swainson, George Koller, Ted Quinlan, and Don Thompson with whom she studied. She has been interviewed by Ralph Benmergui on JAZZ FM.
Andy - Harmonica, Bass, Guitar
Andy John: Asheville, North Carolina
Andy studied jazz guitar at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with Jerry Coker, Mark Boling, Donald Brown, Don Hough, and Keith Brown. Later, in Memphis, Andy worked with Ed Finney and Lily Afshar. Andy's jazz trio, Klarcnova, performed many of his compositions, and recorded one self-titled CD (buy it!). When he began playing the chromatic harmonica in 2002, he found himself drawn to klezmer, and pursued his interest at KlezKanada, working with Sherry Mayrent, Frank London, Ken Maltz, Jason Rosenblatt, and David Krakauer. Andy is now based in Asheville, NC, where he performs regularly with Molly Kummerle and Robin Tolleson in their band, Ruby Slippers.
Eva - Trumpet
Eva Boodman: Montreal, Quebec
Randy - Accodordion, Piano
Randal Pierce: Montreal, Quebec
Randal Pierce was born in Vermont, which he considers part of Lithuania. He became interested in Piano in High school and now studies jazz piano performance at Mcgill University. Randal has played
in the Burlington and Montreal Jazz festivals and believes he came up with the idea that the heat would be better if it wasn't for the humidity. Randal became interested in Accordion in the early part of the 21st century under the influence of Burlington based accordionist, David Simmons. Randal has played accordion for composer Taylor Brooks, the Mcgill wind symphony and will be performing with the Mcgill Contemporary Music Ensemble in October. He once had a brief love
affair with a Lithuanian princess named Skirta, and one day hopes to influence people to talk to their neighbors and read the news.
Moti - Accordion Special Guest
Moti Ludmer: Montreal Quebec